Top Headlines - part 11

Chinese PC Leader Lenovo To Buy IBM’s Low-End Server Division For $2.3 Billion

Chinese PC Leader Lenovo To Buy IBM’s Low-End Server Division For $2.3 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Lenovo’s IBM acquisition intended to offset diminishing PC sales by tapping into enterprise business segment
  • IBM’s sale of low-performing x86 division to facilitate shift from hardware to  software and services sector
  • Closure of deal pending approval by US regulatory board

China-based PC maker Lenovo will purchase International Business Machine Corp’s (IBM’s) low-end server division for $2.3 billion, marking China’s largest technology transaction to date.

The deal follows Lenovo’s acquisition of the struggling ThinkPad business in 2005 at a $1.75 billion price tag, a move that eventually boosted Lenovo to global PC leader by 2012.

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World’s Top Car Sales: Toyota Remains The Leader

World’s Top Car Sales: Toyota Remains The Leader

BUSINESS

  • Gap between Toyota and second-place GM shrinking
  • Volkswagen sets ambitious sales goal
  • China world’s largest auto market

In 2013, Toyota Motor Corp. retained its position as the world’s largest auto seller, although the gap between it, General Motors Co. and Volkswagen Group is shrinking.

Toyota sold 9.98 million vehicles in 2013, a 2.4% increase from 2012. The company expects sales to surpass 10.3 million this year, with sales in its native Japan dropping and worldwide sales growing.

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Verizon To Purchase Intel Corp’s Internet TV Unit

Verizon To Purchase Intel Corp’s Internet TV Unit

BUSINESS

  • Verizon’s Intel purchase projected to expand its TV service customer base with an additional 103 million subscribers from its nationwide wireless network
  • FiOS customers to have access to OnCue search and discovery features enabling multiple-screen TV viewing
  • Intel sale marks notable transition from media sector to core chipmaker business

Intel Corp., the multinational producer of semiconductor chips, is selling its internet TV division to broadband and telecommunications company Verizon Communications for a confidential figure believed to be $200 million rather than the desired $500 million.

The transaction—expected to close in the first quarter of 2014—will let Verizon offer TV services for consumer devices across the US.

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AB InBev Buys South Korean Brewery For $5.8 Billion

AB InBev Buys South Korean Brewery For $5.8 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev-Oriental Brewery deal marks Asia's largest private equity sale
  • AB InBev owned Oriental Brewery prior to 2009; Oriental Brewery market share up 20% since 2009
  • AB InBev to secure large share of Korean market

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world's largest brewer, has agreed to purchase the leader in the South Korean beer market Oriental Brewery for $5.8 billion, marking Asia's largest sale for a private equity.

The deal will allow AB InBev to drive premium growth and improve efficiencies, the company said.  

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Texas Instruments Cutting 1,100 Jobs Worldwide

Texas Instruments Cutting 1,100 Jobs Worldwide

BUSINESS

  • Restructuring expected to save $130 million
  • Texas Instruments to focus on growth areas
  • 2014 outlook lower than analysts’ expectations

Texas Instruments Inc., the world’s largest analog-chip maker, is slashing 1,100 jobs worldwide, or equivalent to 3% of the workforce, as part of a restructuring plan expected to save $130 million by 2015.

The cuts will be made in Japan, India and the United States. The action will reduce expenses in the embedded-processing division. In Japan, sales and customer support positions will also be cut.

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J.C. Penney Plans To Cut 2,000 Jobs, Close 33 Stores

J.C. Penney Plans To Cut 2,000 Jobs, Close 33 Stores

BUSINESS

  • J.C. Penney job cuts part of recovery from losses induced by management changes and failed upscale rebranding efforts
  • Some progress from return to famous discount and in-house products; progress slowed by lagging holiday sales
  • Other major retailers, most recently Macy’s Inc, announce cuts in last few years

These cuts are in addition to the loss of 40,000 jobs in February 2013.

The Plano, TX-based J.C. Penney, which runs roughly 1,100 mid-range US department stores, is attempting to rebound from the losses incurred by a few years of upheaval. This instability included the replacement of chief executive Ron Johnson with Myron E. Ullman III, his predecessor, the company’s unsuccessful effort to become an upscale retailer and a drastic 80% decline in stock since 2012.

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IBM To Invest $1.2 Billion In Cloud Computing Services

IBM To Invest $1.2 Billion In Cloud Computing Services

BUSINESS

  • IBM views cloud computing as area of future growth
  • Company to build 15 data centers
  • Customers shifting away from hardware

International Business Machines Corp., the world’s largest provider of technology services, plans to invest $1.2 billion to expand its cloud computing business and open cloud centers around the world.

The company did not specify how it was budgeting for the expense or how soon it will make the investment

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Google Buys High-Tech Fire Alarm & Thermostat Maker Nest

Google Buys High-Tech Fire Alarm & Thermostat Maker Nest

BUSINESS

  • Google spends $3.2 billion for Nest to accelerate growth for hardware, software and services for the home
  • Nest offers programmable thermostats, combined “smart” carbon dioxide and smoke detector
  • Google seizes Nest deal before likely buyer Apple

Search engine giant Google has paid $3.2 billion for Nest, a Palo Alto, California company that produces high-tech fire alarms, thermostats and other internet-connected home equipment.

Under the Google umbrella, Nest will maintain its brand name and existing operations. However, it is expected that Google will merge its expanding range of services with Nest products, making Google even more ubiquitous in our home lives.

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Apple Aims To Boost Smartphone Market Share With China Mobile Deal

Apple Aims To Boost Smartphone Market Share With China Mobile Deal

BUSINESS

  • iPhone to be offered to China Mobile customers this month
  • Apple in 8th place among smartphone leaders in China
  • High prices may be what turns away customers

China Mobile Ltd., the world’s largest mobile network by users, will begin offering the latest iPhones to its more than 760 million users this month.

In December, Apple and China Mobile reached an agreement after six years of negotiations. Meanwhile, China Telecom and China Unicom already offer the new iPhones. Pre-orders started December 24, and 1.4 million iPhone 5Ss handsets have been shipped to China. Volume, however, does not necessarily represent total sales.

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French Pharma Giant Sanofi Pays $700 Million To Access Rare Genetic Disease Drugs

French Pharma Giant Sanofi Pays  $700 Million To Access Rare Genetic Disease Drugs

BUSINESS

  • Deal strengthens Sanofi portfolio
  • Market expected to be valued at $127 billion
  • Partners to research drugs for rare diseases

Genzyme Corp., the biotech unit of French drug manufacturer Sanofi SA, has agreed to purchase a 12% stake in American biopharmaceutical company Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $700 million, to strengthen its drug portfolio.

Together the companies will develop and market drugs for rare genetic diseases. In the deal, Genzyme gains marketing rights to four drugs with an option, until at least 2020, to develop and sell outside of North America and Western Europe, all of Alnylam’s medications which have yet to be tested on humans.

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